A Nigerian Woman Was Removed From a United Flight After a White Passenger Complained She Had a 'Pungent' Odor
Queen Obioma is now suing the airline for racial discrimination.
Queen Obioma, a Nigerian woman, is suing United Airlines, after her and her two children were ejected from a flight due to the complaints of an unnamed white passenger.
Obioma and her two children were flying from Nigeria to Ontario, Canada on March 4 2016, when Obioma found that her seat had been taken by a white male passenger during their stop in Houston, the lawsuit states. The man refused to move, even after being asked by a flight attendant, so Obioma decided to take another seat in business class.
According to the civil suit, when Obioma took her seat, the man got up and entered the cockpit, where he complained to the captain that he was not comfortable flying with her because of her "pungent" odor. Her and her children, who were sitting in separate seats in economy, were immediately removed from the flight.
Nigerian Woman Removed From United Airlines Flight Over Alleged Body Odor https://t.co/uJPbyT2uPc https://t.co/xFugaviUDC— SIGNAL (@SIGNAL)1526159727.0
The lawsuit goes on to state that the airline "wrongfully singled out Ms. Obioma and her children because they were blacks and punished them publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane." Claiming that Obioma and her children were marched off the aircraft "like criminals," causing Obioma to sob and feel embarrassed by her mistreatment. It calls the airline's actions "oppressive, despicable, and in conscious disregard of the civil rights of Plaintiff."
The family was not able to catch a flight until five hours later, causing her children to miss an appointment at their school. They are seeking over $75,000 in damages, Business Insider reports.
"United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will investigate this matter," the airline told Fortune. Though recent incidents seem to prove otherwise. The airline has had a string of disreputable events occur on its aircrafts within the last year. They aren't the only airline that's come under fire for racial discrimination against black passengers either—and Nigerians more specifically. Last year, a Nigerian grandfather was manhandled by the crew on an Emirates flight. While British Airways was forced to fire a hostess after she went on a vulgar racist rant against Nigerian passengers.